President Bola Tinubu has called for a review of the N8,000 cash transfer programme to millions of poor Nigerians in response to public criticism of the initiative.
The president made this known in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Dele Alake, on Tuesday in Abuja.
The statement said that there have been many misconceptions and criticisms regarding the cash transfer programme proposed by the government.
The president had on 13 July announced that a monthly transfer of N8,000 will be made to the bank accounts of 12 million households classified as poor or low income. This cash transfer programme is intended to be implemented over a period of six months.
The programme, aimed at supporting vulnerable households affected by the removal of petrol subsidy, has however generated heated debates among Nigerians.
On Tuesday, Mr Alake noted that the Tinubu administration firmly believes that if something is prohibited or removed, there should be an alternative provision in place.
The statement added that since petrol subsidy, which was seen as a threat to the economy, had been removed, the government decided to implement a wide range of relief measures to provide assistance to Nigerians.
“A lot of ill-informed imputations have been read into the programme by not a few naysayers. The Administration believes in the maxim that when there is prohibition, there must be provision. Since subsidy, the hydra-headed monster threatening to kill the economy has been stopped, the government has employed a broad spectrum of reliefs to bring help to Nigerians.
“That the N8,000 conditional cash transfer programme envisaged to bring succour to most vulnerable households be reviewed immediately. This is in deference to the views expressed by Nigerians against it,” the statement read.
According to the statement, the cash transfer programme is just one component of a comprehensive relief package devised by the Tinubu administration to cushion the effect of subsidy removal.
Emphasizing the need for a holistic approach, the president pledged to unveil the entire range of palliative measures to the Nigerian people.
As part of the relief efforts, the statement disclosed that the president has directed the release of fertilizers and grains to approximately 50 million farmers and households across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Previously, in response to concerns expressed by the business community, the president signed four Executive Orders to alleviate the burden of taxes and suspend the implementation dates of certain tax regulations. Furthermore, a Tax Reform/Fiscal Policy Committee has been established to generate recommendations that will foster a favourable fiscal environment and eliminate barriers to business growth.
Assuring Nigerians of the judicious utilization of the approved N500 billion fund earmarked to mitigate the impact of subsidy removal, the president assured that the relief measures will benefit all citizens.
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